I’ve been thinking about the Oregon Coast a lot lately. More particularly these waters off the coast near the mouth of the Columbia river. Those who have known me for more than a few years know I was lucky enough to be a commercial fisherman. Without that experience I wouldn’t be able to do what I am today.
I spent three winters out in these waters on Dungeness crab boats. Dungeness crabbing isn’t for the weak hearted. Everyone breaks at some point or another, in some shape or form. Hours tend to bleed together forming endless days. In the beginning you count the nights, as if they are the seconds of a timer ticking closer to the end. But it doesn’t take long to realize how big of a mistake that can be, for every second you count the slower time creeps. You dread when night comes, because it means your brain will begin to shut down, but your body doesn’t have that option. In these dark hours your mind will play tricks on you and argue with that inner voice, typically a dialogue that your mother wouldn’t like to hear. Sometimes an inner dialogue of self doubt and insult that can’t be repeated here. But as you work the sun does its part and slowly makes its way around the world. Eventually you see that faint glow in the cloudy sky on the horizon, and somehow, on zero sleep, you’ll find yourself shaking off the cold night and feeling like a decent human again...
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